6 Tips For Conducting Effective Interviews

August 1, 2016 - 5 minutes read

Be Prepared

The hiring and interview process is the moment in time when companies put their best foot forward. Organizations want to market themselves so they’re in a position to acquire the best talent that fits in with their objectives. Before bringing any candidate in for an interview, it’s important to be prepared. Organize all information that helps back up reasons for going to work for you. Job descriptions, benefits, perks, role expectations (these are separate from a job description), and interview questions should all be outlined prior to bringing anyone in for an interview. Here are 6 tips for conducting effective interviews once the basic information has been compiled.

Verify Accuracy

The first tip for conducting an effective interview is to verify accuracy. If it’s been a while since organizing information used during the hiring and interview process, take time to review the information. Be sure that everything is accurate and that all expectations have been listed. When everything is current and fresh in your mind, you’ll have an easier time connecting an interviewee with the company’s needs.

Create Secondary Questions

When putting questions together for an interview, create a number of secondary questions. These questions should help divulge the way a person works and whether or not their work ethic matches with outlined expectations. For example, a question might be “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” After the person gives their answer, you could potentially ask questions like, “what steps are you taking to achieve your vision?” or “what is your plan for achieving your 5 year goal?”. Sometimes it takes a bit of improv when it comes to asking secondary questions, but it’s always a good idea to have some written down so there is something to reference.

Administer A Timed Activity

At some point in the interview process, administer an activity that is similar to a task or project the interviewee may be working on. This activity shouldn’t be extraordinary. It should be a small sampling and shouldn’t exceed a few hours of a potential employee’s time. The objective of this activity is to not only determine whether or not an applicant has the skills you’re looking for, but to also see how they might think through activities or what their work ethic might be like. In some cases, applicants may abandon the project, which will save time in the long run. Many organizations are doing this now, so it’s entirely acceptable to run applicants through a pseudo project to see their skills in action.

Be Upfront With Expectations

This is the moment in the interview process when it’s time to get real. In addition to a job description, interviewees should be writing down a list of expectations. For instance, if employees are required to work overtime on occasion because of certain projects, then these types of scenarios should be divulged during the interview process. Be entirely upfront with new applicants and let them know exactly what is expected of them. This will prevent surprises or misunderstandings later on down the road.

Give Permission To Interview You

It’s always concerning when an applicant doesn’t have any questions. Take time to remind them that they should be interviewing you and the rest of your team just like you’re interviewing them. Give permission to ask any question they’d like and encourage them to do so.

Take Your Time

When it comes to conducting effective interviews, take your time and hire slowly. Without being inconsiderate, schedule multiple interviews that include other individuals within the organization as well as a group of people. Training new hires is one of the most expensive costs for businesses, so do everything in your power to bring on someone who has the skill-set to complete the work, meets expectations, and hopefully stays around for years to come.

The hiring process and conduction of effective interviews is more important than most organizations realize. If these processes aren’t in place, there’s a ripple effect that often goes undetected that can be detrimental to the success of your organization. Look to a business coach to help evaluate this portion of your business so you know you’re building a solid foundation.

Did we miss any interview tips that you feel are helpful? If so, leave them in the comments below.